Research Associate

Imperial College London - Department of Life Sciences

Faculty of Natural Sciences

(2 Posts)

(Maximum starting salary £36,070)

The Department of Life Sciences was the top ranked university department in the UK for research intensity in Biological Sciences in REF2014 (Times Higher Education), scoring 100% on our environment.

We are seeking to appoint two Research Associate’s into a world-leading research group at the intersection of molecular biology, genomics and the area-wide genetic control of harmful insects. You will join the laboratory of Dr. Nikolai Windbichler, based at the South Kensington Campus of Imperial College London (

The project is part of a wider collaborative network whose goal is to develop innovative genetic approaches for the control of insect agricultural pests threatening food production or insect vectors of human diseases such as Dengue or Zika. Our research involves the use of cutting-edge molecular biology and genetics to understand and ultimately control harmful insects and we often employ Drosophila as a testbed for particular concepts. The current focus is on the engineering of synthetic genetic elements causing sex-ratio distortion or exhibiting gene drive and hence allow to control insect populations. The project involves the genetic manipulation of Drosophila melangogaster and potentially other insects such as Aedes albopictus, Ceratitis capitata or Anopheles gambiae. These roles will involve a high degree of teamwork and interdisciplinary research. In particular, the post holders will work closely with Dr. Philippos Papathanos, co-director of the project who is based at the University of Perugia in Italy.

You must have a PhD (or equivalent) in Biology or a related subject. You must have high level of expertise and skills in molecular biology and genetics, and proven experience in gene editing as well as familiarity with analysis of genomics data. Proven experience of DNA cloning and direct, demonstrable experience of working with CRISPR and/or other site-specific nucleases are also essential. Additionally, you must have demonstrable insectary experience of working with fruit flies, mosquitoes or other insects and proven experience of managing technical staff.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication are essential.  You must also be able to develop and apply new concepts, have creative and proactive approach to problem solving. You must be able to organise and prioritise your own work with minimal supervision in response to deadlines, and to independently drive forward your research project.

These are full-time, fixed-term positions available for up to two years.

Any candidate who has not been yet been awarded their PhD, will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £31,740 - £33,370 per annum.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Nikolai Windbichler:

Our preferred method of application is online via our website (please select "Job Search" then enter the job title or vacancy reference number including spaces NS 2016 200 PB into "Keywords"). Please complete and upload an application form as directed. 

Committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Two Ticks Employer and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

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